Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Don't be an American idler; turn off your engine in line

“Idling gets you nowhere.” That’s the slogan of one of the many anti-idling campaigns cropping up across the country in an effort to curb voluntary idling in carpool lanes, an important message school back in session.
Why the anti-idling campaign? One vehicle by itself idling for a few minutes may not seem like a big deal, but multiply one times hundreds of cars, and throw in a bunch of school buses and a large student population, and that’s a lot of fumes to inhale.
With the rise of asthma and allergies coupled with the fact that children’s lungs are still developing and are more susceptible to the polluting effects of their environment, that’s a great reason to raise awareness and be more diligent about reducing emissions. Not to mention the fact that they are smaller and therefore closer to the exhaust, inhaling more of it than adults. That’s the health aspect.
Then there’s the environmental impact. The cumulative effects of carbon dioxide being spewed into the atmosphere needlessly is preventable, as is the consequent wasting of fuel by sitting and idling unnecessarily. It’s estimated that Americans waste 2-3 million gallons of gas every day by voluntary idling. That’s also a lot of wasted money!
I’ve spent my share of time in carpool lanes, and until the line is actually moving, I always, always cut the engine. Rule of thumb: if you’ll be idling for more than 10 seconds, turn it off. Obviously this doesn’t apply to being in traffic, but it does also apply to idling in carwash lines, concert lines, talking on the phone inside your vehicle in your driveway, and idling in any drive up lanes including banks and fast food drive thrus.
Are any area schools are adopting this important campaign?

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